Money / Success / Adwords vs Your Critter Brain

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My  team brought my attention to R.C. Peck, an independent investment advisor. I loved his analysis of the “Critter Brain” which I myself often refer to as “Lizard Brain.” It’s the part of us that’s tempted to act like an animal when we need to think clearly and act rationally.

It’s the part that takes over when we’ve had too many beers, or when we let ourselves be controlled by fear. It often sabotages success at critical points. In this MP3 interview we talk about…

  • How the “critter brain” or “lizard brain” sabotages us – even though it’s been around the longest.
  • Why it applies to every financial investment you make – buying clicks, or stocks, or real estate, or education
  • The one question your critter brain has been asking itself since you were born.
  • How to unravel continuous patterns of “self sabotage” and interrupt the pattern.
  • Why there’s always a level of discomfort in the success zone and our procrastination demons wake up.
  • The concept of slowing down to speed up and how it applies to your money and your success.
  • Further proof that a mastermind group or high level coaching can help you bust through barriers on your way to higher levels of success

Download MP3

What is "80" and what is "20" for your business right now? Take my 2-minute quiz and I'll show you where you'll get the highest compound interest on your time and money!

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

12 Comments on “Money / Success / Adwords vs Your Critter Brain”

  1. Perry,

    RC is an outstanding teacher. The part of the brain that allows things to be okay is what the critter brain is all about. We can amass great wealth, but if the critter brain feels that it is not safe to have, we will gratefully lose it all. Just look at the lottery winners…
    RC doesn’t sell any product. He educates his clients on how to increase their wealth and feel safe doing so. This is just one example of his education, he also has a monthly meeting/webinar series (the first one you attend is free).
    Just thought your readers would like to know this.

  2. I am still listening to this but I want to say something to Gloria. The lizard brain is part of the cat’s brain too ( at least theoretically).

    By the way we do the same thing as humans.

    When we meet a person we size them up and decide whether or not we can “survive” the people we meet.

    When we think someone is too powerful (rich, confident, good-looking, sexy, strong) for us to handle we run away or hide.

    The only difference is that we do this physically or emotionally by shutting down or hiding our real self by pretending, compensating etc.

  3. Hi Perry,

    I’ve been a long time reader and think you’re one of the most positive and openly communicative people online. Keep it up, you’ve helped a lot of people with your good writing.

    But, I see exactly what he’s talking about. Hubbard wrote a book on this subject in 1950 called Dianetics that not only details everything about this topic but also gives you the workable solution to handle it all together.

    It’s interesting how things can get used and borrowed and then altered and so on, even when it was fully workable to begin with. I see this in the internet marketing world all the time and also in many other places.

    Thanks again Perry but thought I should communicate as well,

  4. “Lizard brain”…Quality!

    Its more exciting than “R-complex” for sure. Your discovery into this subject has been clinical Perry and I greatly appreciate it. In fact, your insights in general are usually very interesting to hear/read. and I agree with alot.

    But also following on from your previous post also as there really about the same thing, I do have a difference of opinion on one aspect. And that is:

    “The conspiracy is real what it isnt is the theory”

    My opinion is that humans are NOT engineered to kept in a state of Lizard consciousness to believe in “conspiracy theories.” We are kept in Lizard consciousness to avoid detecting that something might actually be a conspiracy. Because a reactive mind does not think objectively, therefore, we believe every ‘boogie man’ the pathetic MSM slaps up on our TV screens. After all, when we experience PAIN we want someone to… BLAME! And we done care who it is either…

    This is why a mass control technique called the ‘The Hegelian Dialectic’ has worked so well on such a dumbed down population.

    On the subject of mass control, humans have been engineered to take on the role of not just sheep but taking on the dutiful role of ‘sheep dog’ also. If anyone DARES to question the ‘official version’ of reality (which we’ve been indoctrinated with since birth), you are condemned as a “conspiracy nut ”, a “Conspiracy theorist”, a “renegade”, a “racist”, or a “mad man”, take your pick.

    If we are honest, We are all experts in judging/condemning people without proper investigation, until we become conscious of it and try to correct it. That said, I understand that whether a conspiracy is true or false is not the point here. Whenever your dealing with negativity, the Lizard brain is most definitely in the driving seat. Negativity=Lizard Food, and I admit I am overindulging in it. On a daily basis I am giving my sub-conscious a guided tour…


    What really hit me between the eyes is when somewhere in the interview; words to this effect were spoken: “people can accumulate enormous amounts of knowledge but still achieve nothing because of the Lizard brain”. I have been asking myself the question: “why is this happening?“ and you answered it right there in that interview. Its was powerful stuff.

    My personal overall view is, we cannot bury our head in the sand but we need to limit our exposure to disempowering information. On the same token, we are approaching some of the most challenging times the world has ever seen… you can smell it and you can taste it. And the most foolish mistake anyone could make right now is to bury there head in the sand and pretend this isn’t happening.

    Mainly because what we might think is disempowering is no more than pure GOLD hidden beneath a veneer of decay (literally) . For instance it may be disempowering to hear the dollar is dead because of a deliberate, engineered attempt, to destroy sovereignty and form a one world currency (provable fact, not a CT).

    But its nice to know there is Gold, the only currency the corrupt controllers of this world simply cannot control and is going to go up and up and up and up…

    Although there is going to be many more ‘Lizard’ triggers thrown at us in many forms, and from all sorts of directions, I am truly very optimistic. It’s a great time to be alive, for the first time ever people are starting to wake up. The mainstream media in America is heading bust. People are finally starting to become ‘street wise’ to things like the federal reserve, instead of puppet politicians. I don’t want my taste for journalism to ruin my business and I’ll have to cut back on it for sure and thanks very much for that Perry, but I’ll leave you to think about this also:

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

    Peace – Will ?

  5. Sorry, Perry, but this guy had absolutely NOTHING to say.

    I only got about 25 or 30mins in and had to bail. Nothing to say other than “We have an area of the brain known as the Limbic Region and it powers the emotional urges that drive us and, indeed, override our (apparently) rational perceptions and/or decisions. Oh, yeah, by the way… I tell my clients blah blah blah [insert not-so-subtle reference to his consultancy services which presumably get pitched at the end]…”

    I like your blog, Perry, and you very often have interesting insights that make me think about stuff.

    But this was total fluff in my opinion. Maybe I missed the best stuff on account of being bored to death by the first 20 minutes of vacuuous turgidity. (Although if the standard interview/teleseminar/webinar format was being followed, there would have been a full 20 minutes of pitch at the end.)

    I look forward to returning to the good stuff.

    *shrug* Ya can’t hit a home run every time, eh?


    1. There wasn’t a 20 minute pitch at the end and I personally appreciated his tips about disarming the critter brain and maintaining sanity, during the 20 minutes that you didn’t listen to.

      1. Perry,

        I listened to the whole thing and it was quality content. I appreciate you posting it. The explanation of the fight/flight response, and how it exhibits itself in strange ways that don’t feel AT ALL like fear was valuable and instructive.

        That said, I do understand where the other guy is coming from. When I listen to your webinars, I usually have a central question I want answered. When I don’t get the answer, I get frustrated and I feel like my time was wasted.

        In this case, I only got half the answer and so I did feel some of that frustration.

        My question was: “How do I calm my critter brain when it inhibits my work?”

        I know you pointed us to his 10 podcasts, but honestly, it doesn’t seem like it should take 10 podcasts to answer that question. Being pointed to 10 podcasts makes me think I’ll NEVER get the answer, unless I pay him gobs of money for his [fill in the blank] system.

        (Incidentally, PJ Eby did EXACTLY the same thing in his Leverage Point series. I listened for 3 hours and never got a straight answer to that question.) Either that, or I missed it completely.

        Notwithstanding, your input on this subject is always valuable, and I appreciate it whenever you put something out about this.

        Take care,


        1. Patrick,

          I don’t know off the top of my head whether we discussed that question in the first Leverage Point interview, but I do know that in at least 2 or 3 of the subsequent ones, we’ve covered it over and over again, digging in very step by step.

          However, the trickiest part of changing ourselves is that we tend to unerringly pick the exactly wrong question to ask. The impatient person wants to know how to get patience right away, for example. ;-)

          This makes it really hard to teach stuff like this non-interactively, because people tend to *actively filter out* the information that would help them most, unless they have somebody dragging them back on track.

          1. PJ,

            I listened to the first two episodes of your Leverage Point series. Respectfully, you did not answer the question of how to quiet the critter brain in either of those episodes.

            To your credit, your IDOC system works, to a certain extent, as a problem-solving outline. It’s not the panacea you claim because it only helps me acknowledge – in moments of calm reflection – solutions I wasn’t willing to look at before.

            Specifically, it fails when the “critter brain” causes me to respond to a situation emotionally, when I actually KNOW better, intellectually. Your system doesn’t address the actual trigger to poor behavior.

            — Patrick

          2. Hi Patrick. When you used IDOC, were you including your “critter”‘s I’s and D’s in the process?

            In other words, did you ask what Issue your critter had with doing something, and what it would like instead? And did you then try to get that need met in some other way?

            Or did you treat the critter response itself as your Issue?

  6. I think what he is talking about is simply the fight or flight instinct. I wrote an article about cats from the standpoint of being a “cat whisperer” and this reminded me of something I said about cats.

    “In understanding a cat, there are some basics things you should know. When you first meet a cat they will size you up. In their mind, usually, the first thing they are wondering is if you are a threat to them. That is the first thing they will try to determine. If they determine that you are a threat, their first response is to run away or hide or both. This is very simple.”

    You can see this “creature brain” in the eyes of any first encounter with any cat, no matter how wild or how tame that cat is. If you ever yell at a cat for doing something it should not be doing, you will get that look. That look is exactly what he was talking about. The cat is thinking: “Am I going to survive this?”

    Of course a cat is not a lizard. I think the lizard brain is much lower on the scale and much colder and has less emotion. A cat, on the other hand is an emotional creature. So, Perry, I would like to say that I think calling this “the lizard brain” is incorrect and I would stick to the original “creature brain.” This would be a creature a little more warm blooded and one that knows about predators because it makes its living as a predator, so it knows how predators think. Its the creature brain. This creature, by the way, eats lizards for lunch.


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